Deal Adds 8,500 Dealers

Wachovia Corp. expands its auto financing enterprise with the impending $3.42 billion purchase of Westcorp, 84% owner of WFS Financial, a firm specializing in auto financing. Wachovia will purchase the remaining 16% of WFS from the public for $460 million. The transaction will more than double Wachovia's dealer financial services business, making it the nation's ninth largest auto loan originator.

Wachovia Corp. expands its auto financing enterprise with the impending $3.42 billion purchase of Westcorp, 84% owner of WFS Financial, a firm specializing in auto financing.

Wachovia will purchase the remaining 16% of WFS from the public for $460 million. The transaction will more than double Wachovia's dealer financial services business, making it the nation's ninth largest auto loan originator.

Charlotte, NC-based Wachovia will add approximately 8,500 dealer clients and nearly 920,000 individual customers.

“This transaction moves our auto finance business to a new level and gives us access to a new set of customers,” says Ben Jenkins, president of Wachovia's General Bank. “Westcorp and WFS Financial has demonstrated a strong track record of growing revenue and earnings through all economic cycles.”

The combined auto finance business will be based in Irvine, CA, and run by WFS Financial President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Wolfe. He will report to Carlos Evans, head of Wachovia's Wholesale Banking.

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